Sainsbury Management Fellows

Interview 11: Pablo López Bouzas

Pablo López Bouzas (MEng, UPM Technical University of Madrid), INSEAD

Prior to starting his MBA at INSEAD, Pablo’s professional experience was primarily in the aviation and transport infrastructure sector. He started his career at Airbus in Spain and subsequently joined Ferrovial Airport’s graduate development programme. He would then spend five years at London Heathrow Airport assuming responsibilities in airfield, baggage and terminal operations. In his last role as Operational Efficiency Manager, Pablo led the development and implementation of efficiency projects and business change activities that streamlined ground operations and improved the departures punctuality of Europe’s busiest airport.

What do you hope to achieve through your MBA experience?

I hope that the INSEAD MBA will be a key enabler towards boosting the right set of hard and soft skills at the right time. The MBA will give me top-tier finance, strategy and management foundations that will fill my business knowledge gaps, complementing my current background, while it will also help me to boost and hone my leadership skills. Finally, the MBA will allow me to build life-long relationships with a professionally and culturally diverse group of people from which I can learn and grow. 

How will you use your MBA to further your career?

As I gear up to take the next professional steps, I hope that the INSEAD MBA will be the foundation stone that will help me giving a new approach to my career, in which I would be looking to capitalise both my engineering and operations background and my MBA experience to play a relevant role in the current business disruption scenario. INSEAD is an exceptional opportunity to take part in a dynamic cutting-edge forum and to be in contact with a global network of key players from the different industries, giving me access to a wide range of opportunities in readiness to potentially act as a catalyst for development and growth in business and society.

What are your hopes/expectations of being part of the SMF network after business school?

I recognise the power and relevance that a group of individuals with a shared set of core values has in order to make a positive change in the world and, as a future member of the SMF network, I am hoping to work side by side with other fellows to continue fostering emerging talent and promoting the economic and social development.  I am honoured to be joining such a group of talented professionals, ambitioning to generate positive lasting impact in business and society, and I am eager to start appreciating the tangible outcomes of our collective work.

How do you hope to support SMF after you graduate from business school?

Having appreciated myself the power of mentoring and role models, I am planning to give some of those learnings back by being an active part of the mentoring scheme for young engineers. I am enthusiastic about sharing my passion for aviation and acting as a source of knowledge, support and inspiration that can guide them through their first professional steps.

When did you start thinking about doing an MBA?

As I was progressing over my professional career, where I was more focused on the technical side, I started to realise that I wanted to get some business management foundations that complemented my profile and would potentially help me to achieve long-term progress. Also, I had been in contact with several MBA alumni, and I understood from their experience that pursuing an MBA was the right step towards having a wider impact and achieving my career objectives.

What difference has the scholarship made to you?

The Sainsbury Management Fellowship has played a crucial role in this MBA journey. Pursuing an MBA requires a significant financial and time commitment, an investment that must be carefully assessed and planned for. Getting the SMF scholarship has been a vital help for me, alleviating the financial burden and allowing me to maximise the full international, academic and social experience. Receiving the SMF scholarship will also give me the power to remain focused and aligned on looking for the right opportunity within my current career plan. Finally, the SMF scholarship has provided me with access to a wide network of like-minded individuals with a breadth of different experiences, a key learning asset for my future professional life.

What tip would you give to someone seeking financial support to do an MBA?

Seeking financial support for an MBA can be a long and sometimes frustrating journey, although it is definitively worth the effort. Put aside some time well in advance to do research so as to contemplate all the different options and talk to current MBA students and alumni from the schools you are targeting. Most of the times the different scholarship schemes are looking for specific profiles so identify those who align best with your background and motivations, as this is where you will be able to show your full potential. Last, never give up, overall there are no shortcuts to any place worth going!

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